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Richard E Grant joins Downton Abbey cast

1 of 1 Richard E Grant has joined the cast of Downton Abbey
Richard E Grant has joined the cast of Downton Abbey

Richard E Grant has joined the cast of ITV period drama Downton Abbey.

The Gosford Park and Withnail and I actor will star as Downton guest Simon Bricker in the hugely popular show's fifth season.

The Hour star Anna Chancellor will also join the series as Lady Anstruther, while Snatch and Taken 2 actor Rade Sherbedgia will play Russian refugee Kuragin, who flees the Russian revolution after WWI.

Dame Harriet Walter will return as Lady Shackleton, along with Peter Egan as Lord Flintshire.

The show's executive producer Gareth Neame said: "We are delighted to welcome these talented actors to the world of Downton. The characters they play are set to bring yet more excitement and intrigue to the show."

 It has also been confirmed that Downton Abbey will return for a Christmas special in 2014 after completing its eight-part fifth season.

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